Evidence Backed Medical Tech — Continuous Monitoring Detects These 10 Important Patient Details & Here’s Why You Should Care
When it comes to healthcare, every little bit matters.
Whether that’s a few extra data points or a few extra seconds, it can make the difference between life and death for a patient.
Since it’s not possible to have a nurse or doctor at every patient’s side constantly, medical experts have always been on the lookout for ways to get more information, more consistently.
While you can hook them up to several different monitors, that usually requires that the patient stays in place.
That would be convenient for the healthcare staff — but the patients don’t always cooperate.
Sometimes patients also have to be moved, and vital data can be missed while they’re mobile.
Thankfully we live in an age of wondrous technology, and it’s now possible to monitor a patient’s vitals and other data points in real-time — all the time.
Whether they’re being moved to another bed, another room, or out for a walk around the ward.
What They Monitor
Today’s continuous monitors can keep track of all kinds of data that would otherwise be missed, including:
- Heart rate
- Pulse rate
- Non-invasive blood pressure
- Respiration rate
- Skin temperature
- Fall detection
Now obviously that’s a lot of information, and you may not need all those data points for every patient.
They say knowledge is power though — and I would much rather have too much information than too little.
Why It Matters
There are more potential use cases than I can possibly imagine — and certainly, more than I can fit in one article.
So let’s focus on one recent study as an example, from the British Journal Of Anesthesia — Failure to Detect Ward Hypoxaemia and Hypotension: Contributions of Insufficient Assessment Frequency and Patient Arousal During Nursing Assessments
The study found that the majority of hypotensive and desaturation episodes go unnoticed.
The act of taking a patient’s vitals can often cause a temporary increase in ventilation and arterial blood flow.
Combined with the length of time between vital assessments, it becomes quite easy to miss the signs.
Through the use of continuous monitoring, it became obvious that incidents of postoperative hypotension and hypoxemia often go unrecognized.
Using continuous monitoring devices healthcare providers can detect hemodynamic and ventilatory disturbance as they’re occurring — even if they’re not in the room.
This will allow them to intervene when necessary — and hopefully to improve their patients health outcome as a result.
There are no magic cures or perfect solutions when it comes to healthcare — but by making use of technology as it continues to evolve, we can greatly improve our patient’s chances.
Continuous monitoring won’t solve all our problems, but it will make life easier for the nurses, give more data points to the doctors, and save a lot of time taking vitals.
It could even save some lives.